Healthy summer grilling ideas

Healthy ideas for your next meal on the grill

Most of us look forward to summer for outdoor fun, picnics and grilling. When it comes to grilling, there are ways to enjoy a delicious meal without packing on the calories.

Choosing a meat

When selecting meats, consider purchasing the leanest cuts such as:

  • Top round or sirloin steak
  • Bottom or eye round roast
  • Chicken or turkey breast without the skin
  • Fish such as salmon or tilapia

To enhance the flavor of these lower fat options, try adding spices such as garlic powder, pepper or Mrs. Dash®.

Condiments and toppings

Some vegetables, such as onions or tomato sauce, can be added for flavor and moisture content when making burgers. Instead of adding cheese or mayonnaise as a topping, try using a variety of vegetables instead such as lettuce, tomatoes or onions. A small amount of avocado can be added, but keep in mind that although it is a healthy type of fat (monounsaturated), the calories can still add up fast because it is a fat, not a vegetable.


You may want to try grilling asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, colorful peppers or sweet potatoes as a side dish for flavor, color and texture. You can put these vegetables directly on the grill or wrap them in aluminum foil that contains a small amount of water or oil.

A sweet treat

To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can enjoy some grilled fruit that is marinated in a honey-lemon mixture with a little nutmeg for enhanced flavor. Slice the fruit in half and remove any seeds and cores. Fruits that can be used include apples, peaches, bananas, pears or plums.

Hope these tips help for healthier eating and enjoyable grilling during the summer months!

Diane Werner

Diane Werner is a licensed and registered dietitian, board certified sports dietitian and serves as a consultant to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.

3 thoughts on “Healthy ideas for your next meal on the grill

  1. I’m happy to see that this article acknowledges that dairy/egg products (cheese and mayonnaise being the example) are not necessarily healthy. It’s a positive move in the right direction.

  2. “A small amount of avocado.. is a fat, not a vegetable.” A bit of revision is called for.

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